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Buckingham Palace to host first official football match

Tue 3rd Sep 2013 | Club & Country Competitions

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in his official capacity as President of The Football Association, will host a special event at Buckingham Palace on Monday 7 October to pay tribute to 150 volunteers that help deliver and support the nation’s favourite game.

The event, which forms a key part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, will entail an official ceremony at Buckingham Palace with 150 specially selected grassroots heroes being awarded a medal from HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

The volunteers have all been chosen for their outstanding contribution and service to football – which includes everything from helping to develop the women’s game, providing opportunities for disabled players, grassroots referees as well as club and league administrators.

On the day the Buckingham Palace garden will host its first ever football match, featuring two of the oldest amateur clubs in England. The game, which will be an official Southern Amateur League fixture, will be played between Civil Service FC, the sole surviving club from the XI that met to create The FA in 1863, and Polytechnic FC, which was formed in 1875.

With special permission from Buckingham Palace for the game to take place, Wembley groundsman Tony Stones will work with the Royal Household gardeners to help create the pitch for what will be the most unique grassroots football match in the 150 year history of the game.

Prior to the match, the special ceremony will be held as a way of celebrating the huge role that volunteers play in football on a weekly basis. The nationwide network of grassroots heroes totals more than 400,000 individuals – this includes everyone from the mums and dads, coaches, referees and administrators that give up their time to provide the opportunity for people to enjoy football.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of The Football Association, said: “In our 150th year, it is hugely important for The FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level. Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for The FA to pay tribute and give thanks.”

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The Football Association, said: “These volunteers are the heartbeat of football. Without them, the game simply wouldn’t function at a grassroots level and it is only right that The FA honours their tireless and selfless work.

“We are delighted that, in his role as President of The FA, HRH The Duke of Cambridge has given his support to this initiative – even going as far as arranging for the first ever game of football to be played at Buckingham Palace in honour of our grassroots heroes.”

To learn more about The FA’s work at a grassroots level of the game or for information about how to get involved in volunteering, visit TheFA.com/TakePart

Posted by: Kev Howland

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